Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – September 18, 2017

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

Mayor Chris Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.

Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of September 5, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting of September 5, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $669,890.46. The donations for the Broadreach sculpture have a balance of $6,106.69.  The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $10,216.60.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Ms. Sabine Harvey was present on behalf of the Chestertown Tea Party. She said that the Tea Party was a success this year despite the rainy weather. Ms. Harvey stated that new partnerships were formed with the Young Professionals and the Kent County Historical Society and hoped that would continue in the future. Ms. Harvey stated that the Committee was looking for additional vendors for next year’s festival.

Ms. Harvey stated that the application would be due shortly for the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area Grant and said that the Tea Party Committee would be asking for a letter of the support from the Mayor and Council to accompany the application.

Ms. Harvey stated that one issue she hoped could be corrected was cell phone access to the internet. She said that the festival lost some vendors because they could not make online sales. Ms. Harvey stated that even during the Farmers Market you can get online until about 9 a.m., but once the crowd picks up there is no access. She said that at the festival in Mount Vernon Wi-Fi does not seem to be a problem and they were in the middle of a field. She did not know how they were able to access Wi-Fi but Chestertown could not.

Ms. Harvey stated that volunteers were needed for the Tea Party Committee and that they were in need of someone to run the Colonial Village. She said that they would be hiring someone for financials as the treasurer was stepping down. Ms. Kuiper stated that the Festival Committee was down to less than 10 members.

Ms. Kuiper stated that at the last Tea Party Festival meeting there was discussion about Verizon installing a tower at Washington College to solve the internet problems and asked why it hasn’t been built. Mr. Shoge stated that the he thought the tower was owned by Washington College but the land was owned by Dixon Valve. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the tower was on Dixon-owned land but apparently Dixon did not want to have a long term lease with phone companies to tie up the land. He said that the Town received no application for a tower on College property but had discussed the zoning hurdles of doing that with a commercial cell tower developer.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Tea Party was always great fun and the Festival Committee did a wonderful job with little resources. He said that the Town appreciates their work.

Mr. John Schratwieser of the Kent County Arts Council was present to discuss River Arts Studio Tour as they would be using the gallery space in the Kent County Arts Council building during tour weekends this year. He said that Ms. Andy Goddard asked about the possibility of having installation artists, Howard and Mary McCoy, use the Town-owned park land on the corner of Park Row and Spring Avenue for an outdoor installation during the Studio Tour, asking for use of the space from October 14th through November 5th. The Studio Tour dates were October 21, 22, 28 & 29.

Mr. Schratwieser stated that the Chestertown Arts Master Plan talked about the combination of art, history and environment and said that an installation on this site would be environmentally friendly and easy to access, tying in well with the rest of the Town.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Alan Eliason donated this piece of land before he passed away and it was a perfect piece of property for this outdoor art installation. Ms. Kuiper stated that the land should be gifted to the Arts Council.

Ms. Gross moved to allow the Kent County Arts Council public art installation on Town property located at Spring Avenue and Park Row from October 14th through November 5th for the Studio Tour, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.

Chief Baker presented the police report for August 2017.

Ms. Gross asked if the entire police force received Narcan training. Chief Baker stated that the entire department has now been trained in the use of Narcan and had to use it for the first time this evening at 5:00 p.m.

Ms. Gross stated that there were a high number of calls for service to the trailer park or the immediate environs in Ward 1. She said she was concerned but did not know what could be done to help the situation. Chief Baker stated that the department was concentrating on that area and the problem involved 3 or 4 people who were continually calling the police, noting that alcohol played a large factor in most calls for service.

Chief Baker stated that the department was bringing back the free Bicycle Registration Program. Registration days are Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The bike should be with the owner because a sticker is applied to the bike by an officer at the police station.

Chief Baker stated that the Elks Lodge applied for a grant and asked the Chestertown Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies to participate in a Drug Drop Box program, where a lock box would be publicly available for people to dispose of old prescription medication. He said that if the grant is approved he would participate in the program.

Chief Baker stated that clients of the Kent Center visited the Police Station and said that he was hoping to get some photos for Facebook, noting that he thought everyone enjoyed the visit.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. de Mooy was present this evening to discuss the revised Marina Interpretive Center drawings. Mr. de Mooy stated that the original bids for a two-story building came in quite more than anticipated but scaling back to a one story building would make the building more attainable financially, and in his opinion, would look more in keeping with a marina design. He said that because the elevator shaft and two stairwells were removed there was additional space on the first floor.

Ms. Kuiper questioned ADA accessibility. Mr. de Mooy stated that the entire building was ADA compliant. He also showed the Council where the ADA ramps were to the building from the parking lot.

Mayor Cerino stated that this new design addressed everything that was needed to run a first class marina and said that he thought it would cut costs drastically. The Town had $480,000.00 in awards so far but there was still fundraising to do. Mr. Shoge asked if there were naming rights available for the building. Mayor Cerino stated that if anyone wanted to donate the money to finish the building, naming rights would be considered.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the Town was close to reaching its goal for the Broadreach Sculpture having raised $139,000.00. The most recent donation of $5,000.00 was from Chestertown High School’s Class of 1967. Mr. de Mooy stated that the sculpture will be delivered to the Wilmer Park on Tuesday, September 26th. He said that Yerkes Construction was providing a crane and digging the footers for the sculpture and Anthony’s Flowers and Landscape was providing the site grading and landscaping around the sculpture.

Mr. de Mooy stated that the formal installation ceremony for Broadreach will take place on Saturday, October 14th at 4:00 p.m.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. de Mooy has put in hundreds of hours of work with USDA in setting up financing for groundwork, raising the land at the marina including storm drain systems and interconnection with bulk heading. He said that that the Town had already committed to interim financing of $598,000.00 with Peoples Bank as a requirement of the bond process with USDA. This interim or construction financing would be replaced by the bond from USDA but only after the project is completed.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he asked Peoples Bank to consider a separate interim loan for $1.1 million to provide construction dollars for construction activities other than the USDA project. This available financing would be used rather than paying bills from the general fund before grants, repayments or donations are received. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the bank asked for a Resolution from the Council for this interim construction loan. Mr. David Bowman, Vice President of Peoples Bank was in the audience. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Peoples was used because of their interest and because they had worked on USDA loans with Galena and Betterton. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the funds would help with the waterside projects such as the docks and for the Interpretive Center. He said that this was an 18-month loan at 3.1% and was interest only.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the two interim financing packages would remain separated for tracking purposes.

Mr. Stetson moved to authorize $1.1 million in Marina interim financing for an 18-month period at 3.1% interest only from Peoples Bank, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.   

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Waste Water Treatment Plant has been out of Town limits since 1967 and said that it was time to annex it. The Council was given the 2017 Chestertown Annexation Resolution #1 as well as an Annexation Plan. Mr. Ingersoll stated that tonight was the introduction and there would be a public hearing (after advertisements for four (4) consecutive weeks) on Monday, October 16th at 7:00 p.m.  If enacted, the annexation would become effective December 1, 2017.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had a permit request from the Lions Club for the Halloween Parade to be held on Saturday, October 28th at 10:00 a.m. The rain date would be Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the permit request as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the NAACP asked if the Town wanted to take an ad in the booklet for their banquet. He said that last year the Town took a ¼ page advertisement which cost $80.00. He said that he thought the Town should take the same ad this year. Ms. Gross moved for a ¼ page advertisement for the Town of Chestertown at a cost of $80.00, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Ms. Kuiper asked if a permit has been filed for the Harry Potter Festival. Ms. Mulligan stated that Ms. MacIntire was assisting the Festival with their permit and would come before the Council on Monday, October 2, 2017. Ms. Kuiper stated that the festival was October 7th and she was already taking phone calls and questions in regard to set up at Fountain Park. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were problems last year and the festival would be requesting changes to the permit leaving the Farmers Market on Park Row with fewer vendors moved to Monument Plaza. He said that Ms. MacIntosh is working with the artists and vendors. Ms. Kuiper stated that anyone wanting to close streets was supposed to come to the Mayor and Council at least 30 days in advance. Ms. Gross stated that Harry Potter was a big festival for the Town and better communication was necessary.

Mayor Cerino stated that he liked the new rendition of the Interpretive Center and said that he hoped it would move forward. He said that things were progressing at the Marina but it was a complicated process with different funding agencies and a lot of legwork by staff.

Mayor Cerino stated that he was excited by the College’s waterfront plans, noting that he attended a ribbon cutting for the new boathouse and environmental center. Mayor Cerino stated that these improvements, which included a waterfront walkway, would transform the waterfront.

Mr. Stetson that he also attended the groundbreaking for the new boathouse and environmental center along the waterfront for Washington College. He said that these buildings are costing millions of dollars and it was unfortunate that none of it was on the tax rolls. He said that it was time again to discuss a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes).

Mr. Stetson stated that on Monday, September 11th he went to the College where Comptroller Peter Franchot was speaking.

Mr. Stetson stated that there was a Council of Governments meeting on Wednesday, October 20th and he was going to bring up the tax differential again. He said that this had to be addressed by the County Commissioners at some point.

Mr. Shoge stated that things are going well in Ward Three but he hoped that the bus situation improves with the Kent County Public Schools. He said that there was no excuse for children waiting for buses that sometimes don’t even show.

Ms. Kuiper asked what happened to the parking lot light at 7-Eleven. Chief Baker stated that a truck hit the light and knocked it over. Ms. Kuiper stated that you can tell how many cars have hit that light by the marks on the base and said that she thought it was unnecessary and should be removed. Mr. de Mooy stated that site lighting was important. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would look at the lighting situation.

Ms. Kuiper stated that Washington College was having a fireworks show on Saturday evening, September 23rd.

Ms. Kuiper stated that a vendor in the Farmers Market said he spoke to Mr. Ingersoll about the possibility of placing a port-o-potty on Saturdays in the Nearly New parking lot where the telephone booth was once located. She said that Mr. Wayne Bradley has generously offered to charge $100.00 per month, delivering to the site before and picking up after the Farmers Market hours.

Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like a motion for the $100.00 monthly fee to Wayne Bradley to come out of the Farmers Market revenue since costs increased from $5.00 to $10.00 per week for the farmers and artisans. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the gentleman he spoke with wanted to donate the port-o-john. Ms. Kuiper stated that she thought that was a generous offer but said she did not agree with it.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did not know Ms. Kuiper was involved in the conversation for the port-o-potty and the gentleman he spoke with did not indicate he was a vendor at the market. He said that this was something that the man wanted to do himself and that he asked the donor what would happen if he got tired of donating and then the Town was expected to pay. Ms. Kuiper stated that was precisely why the Town should pay the cost from the beginning, noting that the timeframe could be limited to the farmers and artisans’ season, April through November.

After discussion, Mr. Shoge moved for a $100.00 monthly fee to Wayne Bradley for delivery and removal of a port-o-potty each Saturday from April to November for the Farmers Market, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mr. Stetson stated that he did not like the fact that donations were being discouraged or turned away. Mr. Shoge agreed.

Ms. Gross stated that her main concerns were addressed earlier in the meeting.

There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                     Mayor

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